HANCOCK - Mary "Theresa" Goodell, a long time resident of Hancock, passed away peacefully with her daughter and grandson at her side at her daughter's home in La Jolla, Calif. on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Theresa was born in Kansas City, Mo., on December 22, 1918, the daughter of Charles "Charlie" Jefferson Watson and Jennings "Jennie" (nee Jackson) Bryan Watson, both deceased.
She grew up in Winfield, Kansas until she entered and graduated from Emporia State University in Emporia, majoring in education and music.
To say that Theresa's life was focused on music and music education is an understatement. From her earliest childhood she was trained in piano, violin, autoharp and voice until she graduated and began teaching music in Independence, Kansas. She continued to immerse herself in music instruction and transposition until she passed away.
In 1956, she moved to Hancock and married Robert Wood Goodell and began teaching in the Hancock Public School System for more than two decades through the 1950s and 60s. She is remembered by many of her former pupils for introducing them to musical theatre and classical music. She gave each of her students the belief that everybody can participate and enjoy the gift of music. To Theresa, it was the voice of God on earth and her one driving passion and love.
She worked with disadvantaged children in music therapy during the 70s and 80s with the Intermediate School District (ISD), obtained her Education Specialist degree from the University of Michigan and was responsible for introducing the Kodaly Method to the ISD, which inevitably grew to allow for violin training in elementary school age children in the greater Houghton County area.
In the early 1990s, Theresa developed what was to become a women's a cappella "barber-shop style" chorale known as Noteworthy, which brought much joy to her, her "songbirds" and all who continue to hear their beautiful arrangements to this day.
Theresa is survived by her daughter, Mary (Goodell) Miller of La Jolla, Calif., a son, Mark Whitney Dice of Nodesha, Kan.; a brother, Hugh Watson of El Paso, Texas; three grandchildren, Edward "Ted" Greiner of La Jolla, Calif., Paul Alfred LaBine of Hancock and Paul Whitney Dice of Painesdale.
Besides her parents, Theresa was also preceded in death by a son-in-law, Richard O. "Rick" Miller, who passed away in June of 2008.
A memorial service and celebration of Theresa's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 14, 2012, at Peace Lutheran Church, 47745 Mill Road, Houghton where Theresa was a long-standing member, with Pastor Glenn Schwanke to officiate.
At Theresa's request, any remembrances are to be forwarded to support the Copper Country Humane Society, 47375 US Highway 41, Houghton, MI.
Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home in Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.